Thanks, Ben

MADISON: Sad news this morning as we learn that longtime Madison cannabis activist Ben Masel passed away shortly after 9am today from complications of cancer at hospice care in Fitchburg. Today’s Global Cannabis Freedom March, scheduled for noon on Capitol Square, will be dedicated to Ben’s memory.

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37 Responses to Thanks, Ben

  1. Duncan20903 says:

    April seems to be turning into the month that people that I admire and/or love die. Both my grannies, on the same day no less, Jack Herer, my dear doctor friend that taught me the importance of palliation in a terminal patient from first hand observation, and my 21 year old nephew who just dropped dead with no warning or cause that could be determined.

    I only bumped into Ben a few times back in the early 1990s but he was one of those people who you can just tell are very special people. What a drag it is getting old. I think I’ll skip April next year.

    On a brighter note, Happy 78th birthday Willie.

  2. Michelle Leonhart says:

    Kinda Ironic.. Marijuana activist claims science proves marijuana doesn’t cause cancer. several activist die this past month alone from cancer.lung cancer or whatever cancer.that doesnt matter. it still shows marijuana was the cause if that cancer.Thats why we still go after people with marijuana.we’re keeping cancer rates down. good day.

    • Swooper420 says:

      if you are Michelle Leonhart, then I’m Shirley Temple. Where’s your sources? News about the deaths of activists gets around – it’s a relatively small community – and other than this kind soul, there has been no news of anyone dying of cancer of any type within the last several years. So where’s your proof? Troll.

      Besides, there is anecdotal proof that cancer in people can be cured with cannabis – take RSO (Rick Sampson Oil). Google it and you’ll come up with pages n pages of how this whole plant extract has helped people with cancer survive. There are already studies going as far back as 1974 showing cannabis kills tumor cells…the mechanism as to how this works has been discovered. The only thing holding us back from finding more uses for this beneficial herb is Prohibition.

      R.I.P. Ben

    • Pete says:

      Michele – you forgot how to spell your first name?

    • Duncan20903 says:

      What’s more ironic is that Ben was a lifelong tobacco smoker, and I swear I’ve heard some rumors that tobacco smoking might cause cancer. The motto of the Know Nothing prohibitionist is “never let the facts get in the way of disseminating an effective piece of hysterical rhetoric. Hey “Michelle”, it’s Willie Nelson’s 78th birthday today.

      Well you gotta love the way the Know Nothing prohibitionists decry the “anecdotal” evidence of cannabis as a palliative, but all they require as “proof” of psychosis being caused by cannabis is one lunatic like Jared Loughner and a hack researcher in a lab coat claiming that it is.

      Of course reality is that if potheads suffer psychosis at the same rate as the general population it’s reasonably expected that there would be about 220,000 psychotics in our cohort without any indication of cannabis being a causal factor.

      Find a criminal that smokes pot and pot causes crime. Find a guy that dies from cancer who smokes pot and it proves it causes cancer. These dimwitted idiots seem to forget that we’re human beings, and in a cohort of 22 million people you’re going to find the entire range of human fallibility and behaviors available.

      Gosh it’s such an upstanding, righteous person that tries to promote a self serving political agenda on the cadaver of a man that’s probably still in the refrigerator at the facility where he died. This is an example of the “moral” high ground? It’s simply the action of a despicable, inhuman waste of oxygen. Damn, why did the tradition or tar and feathers have to fall out of favor? I think it might be time to reconsider a revival of that tradition. I’ve got a couple of feather pillows, who’s got some hot tar? C’mon boys, let’s teach the bitch a lesson in humanity.

    • Ed Dunkle says:

      Nice to see you check in, Michelle.

      If one thousand dead children in Mexico means we are winning the war on drugs, then how many will we have to kill to end the war completely?

  3. denmark says:

    Peace and Love Ben.
    Your body might be gone but your Soul lives on.

  4. ezrydn says:


    Blow your pseudo-science BS up someone else’s posterior. Your “cause/effect” statement is pure dribble and you (plus everone else) knows it!

    If you really wanted to keep cancer rates down, you’d open cannabis to research more easily so the facts (and truth, which you abhore) would come out. However, you’ll never allow that, will you? Even if there IS a cancer cure lurking there. Right?!! You refuse to allow the truth to come out. You’re AFRAID of it!!

  5. allan420 says:

    he stood sometimes alone
    like a man
    in front of the tanks
    or facing the phalanx
    he stood
    for that which is right
    for me
    for you
    doing what it is
    that a man must do
    when pushed to fight…

    May your voice echo on Ben. My only hope is that you youngers will carry a torch as bright… we elders are getting tuckered and will all join Ben some day.

    Don’t feed the trolls. This is Ben’s post.

  6. skootercat says:

    As usual, you are right-on Allan. Rest in peace Ben.

  7. allan420 says:

    and I’ve meant to post this before but I know Ben would appreciate it so… we have a local listener-supported radio station, KRVM, that is a wonderful, eclectic mix of different programming. On Satredays between noon and 3 (pacific time)(as in NOW) they have a program that is all ’60s and ’70s music – not just “greatest hits” but sounds you won’t hear on regular FM stations. Worth a listen for fans of that era’s best:

    • WhoDoWeStringupFirst says:

      Thanks Allen! I’m listening right now while having breakfast here in The Hague. I’ve added KRVM to ‘favorites’ on my SqueezeBox Radio. It’s very nice indeed. I shall be listening quite often. Nice accent!

      • allan420 says:

        right on… the variety of different programming is rare – blues every morning, lots of genres selected by the show’s host, everything from blues, reggae, rock, swing, bluegrass, women’s music, international…

        They are non-political but that stems from their years of affiliation as part of the local school system. They’ve educated middle and high school kids on radio broadcasting for decades and there are several radio DJs around Oregon (and elsewhere) that started here. Plus KRVM is one of the oldest, truly public radio stations west of the Mississississippi.

    • DdC says:

      I like Eugene. Home of Kesey and the Bus. Sat farmers market. Stayed at a camp ground with hot springs piped into swimming pools. Forget the name. Today, Sun it seems its some kind of opera? This puter is on dial up so the streaming is funky. This is our eclectic mix station. Today’s play list online for K-Pig 107 oink 5. It used to be K-Fat and the theme song was The Free Mexican Air Force. To get real news I turn the dial to Pirate “Freak” Radio. I’ll check out KRVM next Sat. Be well…

  8. darkcycle says:

    Ben will be remembered, fondly by all who knew him, and with admiration from those who didn’t have the privilege.
    There are any number of fighters out there, but none will ever be another Jack Herer or Ben Masel. Those molds are broken. Thanks to those steps that they have taken, thanks to them, we don’t need another Jack or Ben. They opened it up for us, for eventually we knew it would fall to us, to take over.
    Did that make any sense at all? Shit. I didn’t need this today. Thanks Ben, see you on the other side.

  9. darkcycle says:

    In lieu of flowers and sappy sentiments, I’m fairly sure Ben would have appreciated your contribution to NORML. I’m on my way to their website right now to make one myself….

  10. Michelle Leonhart says:

    Sorry I’m not that Michele Leonhart.Though i do adore sharing the same name everso much.She is a very powerful Woman.She’s done more for America than people like Allen, who think’s they changed the world at woodstock.Talking about free this free that.News kids this is america freedom isn’t free.Most straight thinking americans wish to be free from Liberal Hipppys such as yourselves.Smoking your dope as if it’s a cheech & chong movie.
    Geuss what this isn’t a movie.It’s an all out war!
    We’ll be able convince you to stop harming yourselves.
    Even if it takes 900 more mexican kids.Hell even if it’s 9,000 more mexican kids.We’re doing this UNTIL VICTORY. At no cost should america ever back down.legaliztion might seem like an easy fix.NEWS FLASH it wont fix anything.
    We’ll eradicate the source.Even if it takes another 100 years. We can do this.We just gotta be strong.Remember their just mexicans.We are fine up here in the USA.And just so you know,I support america’s war on drugs.Why becouse, I enjoy watching you suffer.
    good day….

    • James Little says:

      I heartily recommend spell check before you troll.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      The very next day we picked a bunch of them weeds,
      And put ’em in the sun to dry.
      Then we mashed ’em up and chopped ’em up,
      And put ’em in the corncob pipe.
      Smokin’ that wildwood flower got to be a habit,
      We didn’t see no harm.
      We thought it was kind of handy,
      Take a trip and never leave the farm!

      All good things gotta come to an end,
      And it’s the same with the wildwood weed.
      One day this feller from Washington came by,
      And he spied ’em and turned white as a sheet.
      Then they dug and they burned,
      And they burned and they dug,
      And they killed all our cute little weeds.
      Then they drove away,
      We just smiled and waved ……….
      Sittin’ there on that sack of seeds!

      Y’all come back now “Michelle”, hear?

      • DdC says:

        “I Like Marijuana” U2b
        David Peel and The Lower East Side

        Dont Bogart Me U2b
        The Fraternity of Man

        Don’t Step on the Grass, Sam U2b

        ECP: Cybrary Music

        What About Me?

        You poisoned my sweet water,
        you cut down my green trees,
        the food you fed my children,
        was the cause of their disease,
        My world is slowly falling down,
        and the airs not good to breath,
        and those of us who care enough,
        we have to do something,
        Oooooooooooooo what you gonna do about me?
        Oooooooooooooo what you gonna do about me?

        Your newspapers, they just put you on,
        they never tell you the whole story,
        they just put your young ideas down,
        I was wondering, could this be the end of their pride and glory?
        Oooooooooooooo what you gonna do about me?
        Oooooooooooooo what you gonna do about me?

        I work in your factories, I study in your schools,
        I fill your penatenturies and your military too,
        and I feel the future trembling,
        as the word is passed around,
        if you stand up for what you do believe,
        be prepared to be shotdown,
        Oooooooooooooo what you gonna do about me?
        Oooooooooooooo what you gonna do about me?

        And I feel like a stranger in the land where I was born,
        and I live like an outlaw and I’m always on the run,
        I’m always getting busted, and I got to take a stand,
        I feel the revolution must be mighty close at hand.
        Oooooooooooooo what you gonna do about me?
        Oooooooooooooo what you gonna do about me?

        I smoke marijuana, but I can’t get behind your wars,
        and most of what I do believe, is against most of your laws,
        I’m a fugitive from injustice, but I’m going to be free,
        cause your rules and regulations, they don’t do a thing for me,
        Oooooooooooooo what you gonna do about me?
        Oooooooooooooo what you gonna do about me?

        And I feel like a stranger in the land where I was born,
        and I live just like an outlaw and I’m always on the run,
        and though you may be stronger now, my time will come around,
        you keep adding to my numbers and too shoot my people down,
        Oooooooooooooo what you gonna do about me?
        Oooooooooooooo what you gonna do about me?
        Oooooooooooooo what you gonna do about me?
        I wanna know, I ain’t lookin for now trouble but!
        Quicksilver Messenger Service

    • Leonard Junior says:

      Obviously not above the influence; your influence is simply the social zealotry of the federal government’s propaganda campaigns.

  11. Duncan20903 says:

    When I read the Seattle Times nowadays I think I see Ben’s fingerprints. Among others of course.

    Rework the vetoed medical-marijuana law

    Gov. Chris Gregoire bailed out on Washington citizens using medical marijuana to relieve the pain of various debilitating conditions and treatments. Her artful veto of the law must be taken up in the Legislature’s special session.

  12. Michelle- You are pimping for a criminal agricultural mercantilism scheme that has killed more then 100 million over the last century by protecting Virginia Bright Leaf cigarette smoking from the infinietly safer substances of MJ, Coca leaves and Opium.

    You seem ignorant of the fact that MJ smoking is NOT liked to cancer.

    Go back to your frat order where truth does not matter.

  13. darkcycle says:

    I think our troll is trying sarcasm…unfortunately for all of us (“her” included), poorly done sarcasm. If it is sarcasm, perhaps the thread announcing the death of a compatriot wasn’t the proper place to begin experimenting with the art, don’t ya think?
    Allen’s right: Don’t feed the trolls.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      I’m shedding yet another tear for the recent death of the art of sarcasm here, for only when it comes to this subject could one be inclined to believe such posting *might* be sarcasm, of course that acknowledges that it *might* be an actual belief of a human being that’s not an inmate at the local laughing academy.

      • darkcycle says:

        Duncan, our last drug czar once suggested beheading as a punishment for drug violations. Beheading.
        There are people out there who truly think that’s a good idea. Once again…how is it possible to parody these people? What extreme can be reached for that the seriously deranged haven’t suggested, seriously?
        You could suggest summary execution for first time violators, and these people would second that for sending a “good strong message”!

      • Duncan20903 says:

        I know DC, I know, you’re right. But it still gives me cognitive dissonance and I suppose I’m just coming to grips with reality. That there are people willing to shit on the body of a man so recently dead that he probably hasn’t assumed room temperature really is a slap in the face. I’ve got some really inappropriate thoughts of corporal violence polluting my brain this weekend and I resent it, and no one with a vat of hot tar has stepped forward. PS this wasn’t limited to our trolls visit either. If we got lucky and Calvina Fay was struck by dead lightning it wouldn’t have occurred to me to do likewise in her eulogies before today.

        There was at least one forum that deleted such posts. Sometimes it’s very hard to be a believer in free discourse. I’m not suggesting Pete should have pulled “Michelle’s” posts. Yeah, right at the moment it feels like it would have been the thing to do but I’ll get over that. On the other hand, it’s inspired me to come up with a descriptor of such people that will likely make it past most of the censoring software…stool samples. What kind of stool sample of a human being would…

        Oh well, it looks like Mr. Obama has probably wrapped up re-election. Think we can get the guy who caught bin Laden replaced? What I really want to know is what happens to bin Laden’s money. If he has directed it, and that it ends up successfully deposited into al Queda’s coffers this will be as much of a non event as the killing of Pablo Escobar in 1993 was to the war on (some) drugs. Boy was everyone happy when they broke the backs of the Medillon cartel, particularly the nascent Mexican cartels. Oh well, for today we’re happily singing Ding Dong the Witch is Dead. Well maybe it will be a different song, as The Witch is Dead is more appropriate for Calvina Fay’s post mortem. After the vivid display of despicable, morally bankrupt heartlessness by the Know Nothings it will be hard to refrain from hiring a marching band to send her off if given the opportunity.

      • darkcycle says:

        “Stool Sample” I like it Duncan, may I use it?

  14. ezrydn says:

    I’d bet Michelle attends Westboro!

  15. Hope says:

    Thank you, Ben, for doing the best you could to fight injustice.

  16. vicky vampire says:

    May he Ben rest in peace, AMEN.

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